Spurs 102, Lakers 91

Ruben Martinez, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker scored 24 of his game-high 28 points in the second half to lead a balanced effort, and the San Antonio Spurs took a 2-0 advantage in their first-round Western Conference playoff matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 102-91 win Wednesday at the AT&T Center.
Game 3 is Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Parker hit nine of 20 shots from the floor and nine of 10 from the free-throw line, and he added seven assists.
Steve Blake and Dwight Howard each scored 16 to lead the Lakers, who now must protect their home court.
Manu Ginobili made the most of his limited minutes, scoring 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting, grabbing five rebounds and handing out seven assists. He went 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Ginobili played only 19 minutes due to a hamstring injury, but he has been surprisingly effective despite missing a number of games late in the regular season.
The Spurs bench outscored the Lakers' 32-24.
Both team struggled from the field in Game 1 (Spurs shot 37 percent and the Lakers 41 percent) but shot much better in Game 2. The Spurs hit 49 percent, and the Lakers made 44 percent.
Pau Gasol added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who went deep in the bench with Jodie Meeks missing the game due to a sprained left ankle and Steve Nash noticeably limping because of a hip injury. Only Antawn Jamison saw action from the regular reserves, and Earl Clark (four points) and Darius Morris (10 points) came in to try to stabilize the bench.
Kawhi Leonard added 16 points and seven rebounds for San Antonio, and he electrified the home crown with an alley-oop dunk and another in the open floor. Tim Duncan contributed 16 points and five rebounds.
NOTES: Lakers center Jordan Hill was available after being cleared to play after hip surgery three months ago. ... Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that forward Boris Diaw is doubtful for the first round with a spine injury. ... Newly signed forward Tracy McGrady is still inactive for San Antonio. ... The NBA announced the Defensive Player of the Year award results Wednesday. Duncan finished sixth in the voting, and Howard came in 14th. The Grizzlies' Marc Gasol won the award for the first time in his career... The Spurs are now 56-19 in the playoffs since moving to the AT&T Center in 2002-03 season.

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